S U N D A Y   October 31, 2010
Don Gagliardo (syndicated)

Theme: "No More Boos" — Familiar phrases contain the letters G-H-O-S-T in order.

[Note: This is the syndicated L.A. Times puzzle. It does not appear in the actual newspaper, but is available for free at cruciverb.com.]

Theme answers:
  • 23A: One with all the answers—or in one case, questions (GAMESHOW HOST).
  • 32A: Global warming factor (GREENHOUSE EFFECT).
  • 41A: Boom box (GHETTO BLASTER).
  • 53A: Prepare for lean times (TIGHTEN ONE'S BELT).
  • 66A: Movie with the tagline "Sleep kills" (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET).
  • 76A: HDL, familiarly (GOOD CHOLESTEROL).
  • 89A: Haunted house creaker (FLIGHT OF STEPS).
  • 101A: Medical school affiliate (TEACHING HOSPITAL).
  • 112A: Movie good guys responsible for the circled squares in eight long puzzle answers (GHOSTBUSTERS).
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
    Everything Else — 1A: '90s sci-fi series "seaQuest __" (DSV); 8A: Honest prez (ABE); 11A: Parks for rights (ROSA); 15A: Imogene's partner (SID); 18A: "Isn't __ pity?" (IT A); 19A: Greek king tormented by fruit and water he could never quite reach (TANTALUS); 21A: __ minérales (EAUX); 22A: "A long time __ in a galaxy ..." (AGO); 25A: October porch swinger (SKELETON); 27A: Aquarium fish (GUPPY); 28A: __-jongg (MAH); 29A: Like "egad," oathwise (MILD); 30A: Ford whose debut album was "Out for Blood" (LITA); 31A: Vying (IN IT); 37A: ATM maker (NCR); 38A: When to get well? (SOON); 39A: Friendship (AMITY); 40A: Limber (LITHE); 45A: Female "Mortal Kombat" agent __ Blade (SONYA); 46A: Two-legged zebra (REF); 47A: Pitch path (ARC); 48A: Pooh __: pompous officials (BAHS); 50A: Blemish (STAIN); 61A: 1962 Phantom portrayer Herbert (LOM); 62A: AFL affiliate (CIO); 64A: Good Witch of the North portrayer Burke (BILLIE); 72A: Ship with a tilde (NIÑA); 73A: Memory lane walk (STROLL); 74A: "So that's it!" ("AHA!"); 81A: They may be taken with a raised hand (OATHS); 83A: Quarterback Tony (ROMO); 84A: Milk, on an Rx (LAC); 85A: You can bet on it (TIP); 86A: Affect, as heartstrings (TUG AT); 96A: Maître d's stack (MENUS); 97A: Didn't miss __ (A BEAT); 99A: Oater actor Jack (ELAM); 100A: Wine holder (VAT); 105A: __ monster (GILA); 106A: Diet suffix (-ETIC); 107A: Kind of crazy? (STIR); 108A: Matterhorn, e.g. (ALP); 109A: Student of Graham (AILEY); 110A: Hitchcock genre (THRILLER); 117A: Pulitzer winner Bellow (SAUL); 118A: Like much Halloween candy (BITE-SIZE); 119A: Vote for (YEA); 120A: Put in (ADD); 121A: World Series sextet (UMPS); 122A: New Eng. sextet (STS); 123A: Cast-of-thousands movie (EPIC); 124A: Ohio summer hrs. (EDT); 1D: Working at night for Dr. Frankenstein? (DIGGING); 2D: Steadfast (STAUNCH); 3D: Twilight Saga character (VAMPIRE); 4D: __-bitsy (ITSY); 5D: Relaxed reaction (AAH); 6D: LP filler? (MNO); 7D: Texter's "incidentally" (BTW); 8D: Float __ (A LOAN); 9D: Outback topper (BUSH HAT); 10D: Car repair fig. (EST.); 11D: Make a stand (RESIST); 12D: Buffalo Bill associate (OAKLEY); 13D: Glove material (SUEDE); 14D: Rose of Guns N' Roses (AXL); 15D: Fullness (SATIETY); 16D: "Tricked you!" ("I GOTCHA!"); 17D: Campaign Web site option (DONATE); 20D: Words of woe (AH ME); 24D: Skillful, kiddingly (EPT); 26D: Like Puck (ELFIN); 29D: Conservationist John (MUIR); 32D: Blockhead (GOOF); 33D: Director Reiner (ROB); 35D: 'Abitation? ('OME); 36D: Brush partner (FLOSS); 38D: Malodor (STENCH); 42D: Start to fold? (TRI-); 43D: Uru. neighbor (ARG.); 44D: SAT-taking venue (SCH.); 45D: "Jeepers!" ("SHEESH!"); 48D: Cotton capsule (BOLL); 49D: Wolfman, some nights (ANIMAL); 50D: "A poor man's poetry": Moore (SLANG); 51D: "Pagliacci" clown (TONIO); 52D: __ acid (AMINO); 53D: Source of an oater long-distance call? (TOM TOM); 54D: Hose clamp tightener (T-BOLT); 55D: German article (EIN); 56D: Pirates' former div. (NLE); 57D: Rough case? (BUR); 58D: Chris on the court (EVERT); 59D: Parasite (LEECH); 60D: Brit's bye-byes (TATAS); 63D: Sweater words? (IT'S HOT); 67D: Roam (about) (GAD); 71D: Eastern philosophy (TAOISM); 77D: Rubbernecking cause (CRASH); 78D: Taina of "Les Girls" (ELG); 79D: By itself, not much of a cheer (RAH); 80D: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, say (OCTET); 82D: Liable (APT); 85D: Nonstick cookware brand (TFAL); 86D: Grew choppers (TEETHED); 87D: Like a repressed grievance (UNAIRED); 88D: Big name in leather goods (GUCCI); 89D: Baseball players' union chief before Weiner (FEHR); 90D: __-tzu, founder of 71-Down (LAO); 91D: Sellout reaction, in headlines (IT'S A HIT); 92D: Plug extension? (-OLA); 93D: Wicked looker (EVIL EYE); 94D: Pink, e.g. (PALE RED); 95D: Patronizes, as a motel (STAYS AT); 96D: Ital. volcano (MT. ETNA); 97D: Dealer's demand (ANTE UP); 98D: Nightclub circulators (B GIRLS); 102D: Koran religion (ISLAM); 103D: Graveyard divisions (PLOTS); 104D: __ dixit (IPSE); 105D: Yosemite Sam's "Scram!" ("GIT!"); 109D: "Just __!" (A SEC); 111D: The NCAA's Fightin' Tigers (LSU); 113D: Half a scary fly (TSE); 114D: Marceau alter ego (BIP); 115D: Compact submachine gun (UZI).


    imsdave said...

    I liked this on one level, but have a problem in general with puzzles that give you so many free squares once you get the theme. I think it would have been amazing if all the GHOST letters had been omitted with a theme answer of GIVEUPTHEGHOST.

    Too esoteric?

    I rarely comment on my captcha, but RELISTER is such a classic crosswordese verb to noun transition, I thought I'd share it.

    Happy Halloween all.


    JOHNSNEVERHOME is back home today and enjoying his own bed this morning.

    I usually like Don’s puzzles, but this one had far too much sacrificial crap-fill in order to make eight clever Halloween themes. I also found quite a few worn-out clues.

    Crap-fill: ITA, INIT, BAHS, AHA, TUGAT, ALOAN, STS, EPT, AHME, SCH, OME, ELS, RAH, OLA, ETIC, GIT, BIP, etc. SHEESH! This is just yucky stuff. But then, it is Halloween and we’re supposed to enjoy yucky stuff.

    The theme was sort of clever, but what I really liked were the mini-theme words:

    Some of the most enjoyable stories of yore are Alfred Hitchcock’s THRILLER LPs called, “Alfred Hitchcock's GHOST Stories for Young People”.

    I also enjoyed seeing BIP (114D) for Marcel Marceau.

    WOTD: LITA Ford.

    New word for me: Taina ELG of “Les Girls”… never heard of her.

    Gotta go buy some BITE-SIZE candy. Last year I had 80 kids come to my door.

    Have a spooky Halloween y’all!

    Tinbeni said...

    Really enjoyed this Halloween puzzle.
    Practically did the entire thing only from the across clues.
    Needed the downs to get LITA Ford and Graham's student, AILEY.


    Nice to see Jack ELAM in the grid.
    What a great 'character' actor with a unique mug.

    Welcome back. But the "crap fill" you referenced ... those tiny, trite words, are the glue that hold these grids together. On a 21x21 Sunday there are bound to be a few extra.
    Therefore I think Don G. did a great job getting a Halloween theme puzzle of this quality for us today.

    Cheers to everyone at sunset.

    Anonymous said...

    I still don't get OLA as "plug extension." What am I missing?

    imsdave said...

    Not crazy about that one myself mom, but:


    rz said...

    I am also confused by OLA as "plug extension". Also don't understand IAMB as "Frost's foot" - it's not even referenced in the write-up. Perhaps a poltergeist is "afoot"?

    And shouldn't REFs and UMPS be clued as abbreviations somehow?

    I guess I'm being a bit ghoulish today. Loved the theme and mini-theme.

    Have a happy All Hallows Eve

    CrazyCatLady said...

    I did this at the LAT site since it isn't in my paper and there were no circled squares. Boo! So I had no idea what the theme was until I came to the blog. Thought it was fun, though. Liked the mini ghoulish theme that JNH mentioned. BTW, welcome back. Had no idea what PLUG OLA was or what a BGIRL is. Now I think I'll STROLL over to the candy VAT and pilfer a BITE SIZE Kit Kat.

    Happy HOWLoween!

    Van55 said...

    No more boos?

    I'll give you boos:

    DSV at 1A = BOO
    New Eng. sextet (STS) = BOO
    Local pair (ELS) = BOO
    LP filler (MNO) = BOO
    Start to fold (TRI) = BOO
    SAT taking venue (SCH) = BOO
    Uru. neighbor (ARG) = BOO

    And I could go on. This puzzle is just so riddled with lame (to me) fill, that it can't be redeemed, especially with a weakish iterative theme.

    KJGooster said...

    @rz: An IAMB is a metrical foot used in poetry, and the clue is referring to the poet Robert Frost. It's a word you don't see much outside of an English classroom or a crossword puzzle, and this is a fairly typical way of cluing it.

    Tuttle said...

    Wouldn't the first name in protest singing be Woody rather than his son ARLO? (Interesting note: ARLO's mother Marjorie was, like Alvin Ailey @109A, a student of Martha Graham's.)

    51D could have been more clearly clued since both TONIO and Canio are clowns in Pagliacci. In fact, Canio is usually credited as "Pagliacco", the clown, while TONIO is usually credited as "Sciocco", the fool, or Tadeo, his character's name in the play within the play.

    I much prefer the term BITESIZE to its cousin "fun size". Tell me please, what's so fun about less candy?